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Thursday 20th of June 2013
Airlines report massive rise in disruptive behaviour
The Australian travel industry is now bearing the emotional scars of the economic downturn in addition to the material damages as authorities have unveiled an alarming rise in air rage or disruptive behaviour, leading many airlines to be fearful of the level of baggage left over from the economic crisis.
A disruptive incident is defined, amongst others, as smoking on the plane, over-intoxication, altercations, abuse or deliberate refusal by a passenger to follow directions from the cabin crew. Despite the rise in cases aviation experts are quick to identify that with some 50 million domestic and over 27 million international flights in Australia last year the number of air rage or disruptive incidents is minimal.
Much of the blame has been placed with the increase of budget carriers in market share which is thought by many analysts to be behind the whopping 65 percent rise in cases in the skies last year. Government numbers reveal that in 2007 there were 64 air rage or disruptive incidents, a figure which had grown in 2008 to 279. Last year there were 461 incidents reported – a sixfold increase in just two years. However, airlines in the UK and in New Zealand have all reported an increase in unruly behaviour on their respective aircraft.
Budget carriers offer no frills service but this frequently means more possibility for mistakes and ultimately customer incidents, despite a potential AUD $5,500 fine for disruptive passengers. More likely is that the recession has meant people are simply unhappy at spending large sums of money for any reason.
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